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New Hezza World Champion!!

The new 2024 Hezza Slaya World Champion!!

We started off the first week of March on the last leg of our South Australia trip. We headed to a spot just near Ceduna, called Davenport Creek. This was a place that our good mate Simon had mentioned about 3 times over the past year that was a MUST-do place to visit! It will come up in an upcoming episode, but we'll keep the exact location a secret to the YouTube community, as it was a place that as soon as we rocked up, it ticked all our boxes for a campsite that is a rare find. We're sharing the name of the place here but be sure to keep it in your back pocket because it is so hard to find rare gems like this in the coastal camping community.

What makes this place a little tricky is the access. It's a dirt road in then about 1km of beach (which is best to time for low tide so you can get to the hard sand), back up into the sand dunes with a skinny track cut through the scrub for a few km's and then you're there. We were lucky to have the whole place to ourselves most of the time with only one other camper for a night. It has a creek right near the campsite that feeds into Davenport Creek and from there, you have access to a huge waterway that holds the mecca of S.A. fishing - whiting, crabs, squid etc... game on! Our first few hours there, the weather was building up and we had this crazy cloud system form which would create in time one of the best lightning shows we've had since we hit the road! Absolutely amazing lightning and thunder and even the rain was a blessing to wash the Dmax and give everything a good fresh clean!

I won't go into too much detail and will make ya wait for the video to come out, but it is one of those places we'll be pushing to head back to soon and explore some more!

Davenport Creek, South Australia

Once we left Davenport Creek, we started punching west and back into W.A. We made some good ground, 3 days of drizzle rain, and hit up some free camps along the way. The standout was a place called Newman Rocks, 50 odd km west of Balladonia, and even though it's just off the highway, it's a great little overnighter amongst the trees with big spaces and it was fairly quiet.

After the Nullarbor, we trekked down to Stokes Inlet just west of Esperance, a place we visited a couple of years ago but as we had a couple of days up our sleeves, we decided to pop back in there to have a look. The weather wasn't going to be great, but we got a campsite and went for an explore. I have to note here that the prices to stay at Stokes have gone up considerably since the last time we were there. For one, it's a national park so you have to pay a day fee of $17 per vehicle if you don't have a national park pass (one off fee if you are camping for multiple nights) then from there it's $15 per person per night to stay at the campground. Yep, that's $47 per night for a couple for a single night stay if you don't have a Parks Pass!! For a place where you have to be fully self-sufficient (long drop dunnies available only), I think it's well on the steep side of camping. If I really get my grumpy pants on, if you weren't into fishing I wouldn't pay to stay here. Yep, it's "National Park" but realistically the campsite is closely bordered by farmland, there is nothing really special that attracts people to want to visit other than the inlet and I was recently informed by the camp hosts that they now let commercial fishermen net the Inlet for Black Bream, which is what most people visit to catch... so yeah I'm slightly disappointed in the powers to be who are jacking up camping prices and at the same time, destroying the attraction you are visiting in the first place, just to fill the pockets of commercial a National Park!

Anyway, that's my rant ha, it just shits me.

We did end up heading down the river the first arvo and managed to grab a nice feed of Black Bream straight up, then this crazy windstorm came through with some rain so we quickly headed back to camp to find our awning on the van in multiple pieces! We were able to put it back together with surprisingly no damage!! The next day was a bust, no fish at all, so I cracked it a went back to building a fishing rod.

We kept trekking west over to Masons Bay, where we met up with my parents who had trekked from the southwest to join us for the rest of the journey. My cousin works on a farm nearby so it's always a good meeting point to catch up with some family. This place is the first spot in a nearly 4000km journey we had been allowed to have a campfire!! We'd been lugging around 20kg of jarrah and a bag of lump char the whole time. We'd also had a Pork roast in the freezer, so we wasted no time in getting the firepit going and throwing the roast on the rotisserie with baked spuds in the fire for a family feed! We also got to catch up with the camp hosts, Matt and Louise, who are followers of OldMate and had been putting some of our rigs through their paces! The wind was up though so no boating but had a bit of a flick of the beach and an explore with the Olds. By this time, it had been overcast for well over a week and our solar setup on the van had been struggling with the weather not looking like clearing up anytime soon.

From Mason's Bay, we trekked into Cape Riche campground, another place we have camped at before. It's well priced we think at $20 per night for a site, has flushing dunnies and cold showers (if ya into that sort of thing). It is run by the City of Albany and has camp hosts; it also has beach access to launch a boat off as well. It's one of those places that is epic on an epic day, but it can also go to shit real quick. We had some drizzle rain over the next couple of days but we were able to have another campfire which was good to cook our snags over and got to show our Olds around the place and my secret Abalone spot ;o)

We then punched west to Walpole but on the way, we called into Albany to re-stock and grab a coupla local beers at the Wilson Brewery, which is just on the main drag outta town. They make some lovely Ales but it's a hard choice between Wilson's or Boston Brewery in Denmark. If you're ever passing through, either one has epic beers. On that note, the Denmark Tavern is also well worth a mention as it has Wilson beers on tap and is a lovely venue with good tucka! We caught up with Richard & Angela out of the blue in Albany who follow our channel and had a great chat. They also live a semi-retired lifestyle and it's so good bumping into people who support how we live and are also doing the same! Hopefully we'll keep in touch and pass them on the road someday down the track.

We then rolled into Walpole which was essentially the highlight of our March mission!! Last year we launched the 2-day fishing competition with 11 entrants and this year we ended up with 49! So so good to see this fun and simple comp starting to grow!

The 2024 Hezza Slayin World Championship was teeing up to be a cracker. The weather was looking good-ish for the Friday and Saturday and all eyes were on reigning 2023 World Champion, Ronald Wooding, to go back-to-back championships... unfortunately for Ronnie, he went down in the first round to a bad case of man flu and was bedridden for the whole weekend!! (sabotage maybe??)

So with the 49 entrants @ $10ea entry and winner takes all, the stakes were high as we rounded it up to a solid $500 prize for the heaviest Hezza! Day 1 saw almost every entrant bring in a fish to weigh in and at the end of the day, the Busselton underdog, Dave Boyle, snuck in a monster Hezza weighing over 250g, to shatter last year's champion weight of 171g! But day 2 had some late entries come to town, as the word had got around that there was some monster Hezza's lurking inside the bay... The weather was awesome early Saturday morning, almost glass-off conditions saw the small boat ramp packed out as the sun came up... and it was game on! I was still fairly confident that a Hezza over 250g was going to be hard to beat but it ain't over till it's over.

We kept the last weigh-in weights a secret from the entrants until we announced the final results, but it was clear to the crowd that had formed that there was a new champion in town!

Aannnnd......the 2024 Hezza Slaya World Championship goes to - TROY MILDWATERS !!! with a stonker Hezza @ 310g!! Absolute beast of a Hezza and we were stoked to see one punch over the 300g mark! Troy took home $500 in cash, his name on the perpetual trophy, his own custom trophy, and a filleting knife set donated by us.

Congrats Troy on becoming the new World Champion and we hope to see ya there next year to defend the title!!

We stayed on at Walpole till the Monday with a few other stragglers and then headed back to the southwest to re-pack, do repairs, and get ready for our adventure up into the Northern Territory for 7 months work on a cattle station. No boat on this trek so it will be an interesting journey but hoping to get some hunting in on the feral pigs that wreak havoc on the land up there.

During our week or so at home, we were able to finally meet up with Rhett from The Tinsmen Podcast who was so good to have a yarn with. We got out to the Welly Dam for an overnight campout with him and did our first podcast interview which is live on their poddy now. We were even able to get some local brewers to flick us some beers for the poddy (huge thanks to Brugan Brewery & Adrift Brewing) and we bought Dardanup Bakery Pies for dinner! Big thanks to Rhett for having us on, it was awesome to finally catch up as Rhett is also a Patreon and big supporter of Pink Ribbon Fishin'. Hopefully we will catch up again soon with him to slay some crays when we return to the south-west later in the year. Make sure you give these fellas a follow if you're into listening to podcasts. They're an absolute crack up the 3 of them and they are our go-to road trippin' poddy, along with Everyman Chats with Pete from WA Camping Adventures. Good yarns and great laughs on both podcasts!

Catching up with Rhett from the Tinsmen Podcast

Apart from the fun stuff, we managed to tick off a heap of jobs while we were home, including new tryes on the Viscount and my old man made us up jerry can holders so we can now carry 80 litres of extra diesel on the caravan - basically it's a poor man's long-range tank which will be super handy for trekking remote and hopefully save us a few dollars between outback servos. We re-packed the Dmax, minus the boat gear, and packed in a heap more rod-building gear to hopefully get a few more rods built while up north.

And that's our March done and dusted! Early April we have headed off to get up to the NT so we'll keep ya'll posted on how that leg of the journey is going.

Thanks for all the support, happy trekking mate, and chat to ya soon.

Much Love,

Team Jelly


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